Have you always longed to wear earrings that depict a couple in the throngs of passion? What about a diamond-shaped cluster of pearls that is more ear muff than earring? Or a belt you can wear around your thigh, wrist or neck?
Enter Monirath, the accessories brand that is not here to play. The brainchild of Australian designer Mollika Prak, Monirath first caught our attention with their Vivienne Westwood-esque "S-E-X" earrings — and while her brand's still relatively small, Prak has big ideas on shaking up the fashion industry.
We recently talked with Prak about all things jewelry, Japanese fashion, and what the hell ever happened to originality.
What's the concept of your brand, Monirath?
Avant-garde. Experimental. Questionable. That's what Monirath accessories are. I started to create jewelry because I was bored of the jewelry today. But if they do satisfy my tastes, they usually cost an arm and a leg. So I just decided to make my own. I always knew I was meant to be a designer — I just never knew what field. I spent a lot of time in the last few years experimenting with many things and when me and jewelry touched bases, it was a match! I see a lot of young creatives having a hard time realizing their purpose. Please note that everyone moves at different paces so it will come with due time. Trust me, trust yourself and the process.
You want us to challenge the way we traditionally approach accessories, but how difficult is it navigating both practicality and style?
This is how you navigate practicality and style — you throw away the practicality. Just stick to the theory and make it work. That's what I believe in. Anything is possible. You can go a long way with perseverance and a clear mind. Jewelry and accessories should no longer just be an after thought! They create your outfit and your fit would be nothing without it. I make myself dress around my accessories. I love a good statement piece, especially if it's made by me. Who does the shit that I do?
What jewelry trends should we leave in 2017?
No more boring studs in 2018.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the fashion industry — are we taking enough risks?
Hell no. Everyone is playing it safe. Actually, they're busier stealing from everyone else. I can't even differentiate between Balenciaga, Vetements, and Margiela now. What happened to originality? Everyone is too busy hopping on the trend bandwagon, so much supply, but not enough demand. Yes, it sells. But what happened to making art? Don't get me wrong, I love those brands and Margiela is top tier for me. It's just like being suffocated, as the consumer. However, I do love Rick Owens and Michele Lamy. The dynamic duo. Also, kudos to Japanese designers, namely Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. I just love their take on silhouettes. So unorthodox, I'm so in love.
What materials are most appealing to you to work with?
No materials appeal to me right now. I'm actually suffering designer's block so I'm constantly looking for new things that may spark the fire. However, I did have a pearl phase. Pearls are just so elegant, and with my budget and being poor as fuck they can make anything look expensive. My favorite kind of accessory is a good belt. Right now at least. You can wear it anywhere: on your waist, over your shoulder, on your leg, on your neck... the possibilities are endless. And of course, anything shiny.
The XXX earrings are so exciting — what's your creative process?
The XXX earrings are the first earring I've ever made actually. It had a lot of different variations until I reached the final version we all know of today. A key aspect in my creative process is to never be tainted by social media. You open your phone and there are thoughts, images and concepts everywhere. It's hard to avoid. I love being the first and the best to do something. Please kill me if I ever think of leaching off anyone else.
What will Monirath look like in 2018?
I spent a lot of time in 2017 thinking about how I was going to bring this brand forward. Honestly, a lot of day-dreaming too — it's inevitable. But in 2018, we are manifesting. Monirath is going to continue to produce questionable jewelery and shake the industry. It's what I love to do. Some personal goals of mine are to possibly collaborate with Ambush. Also, I would love Solange, FKA twigs and Rihanna in my accessories. The holy trinity. I actually have Chandelearrings saved for them. It's going to happen, if I preserve a great mind and a greater heart. Long term goals? Appear in the Museum of Modern Art. Icon shit.